Pope Francis to Receive COVID-19 Vaccination

Pope Francis is next in line to get a COVID-19 vaccination…

The 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State has announced that the Vatican will begin COVID-19 vaccinations next week and that he’ll receive the shot.

Pope Francis

The pontiff made the comments during an interview with Italy’s Canale 5 channel, set to air on Sunday night.

“It is an ethical duty to take the vaccine, here in the Vatican we will start next week, I am also in line to take it,” he said, according to a news anchor for the channel in a preview of the interview, which was released Saturday.

The full interview, which took place in the Santa Marta residence in the Vatican, will air on Sunday at 2.40 p.m. ET (8.40 p.m. local time), according to a press release.

In December, the Vatican deemed that it was morally acceptable to be vaccinated against COVID-19, after some anti-abortion groups raised concerns about how the vaccines were manufactured.

Some groups had suggested the coronavirus vaccines were made using cells from aborted fetuses. The cells are actually engineered and grown in labs from tissue acquired many decades ago, and are not made directly from aborted fetuses.

“It is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have used cell lines from aborted fetuses in their research and production process,” the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a note approved by Francis.

The statement was issued and signed by the head of the Congregation in response to several requests for guidelines regarding the use of the vaccine.

The pontiff used his recent Christmas message to say that coronavirus vaccines must be available for all, and pleaded with states to cooperate in the race to emerge from the pandemic.

Netflix Commissions Four-Part Documentary Based on Pope Francis’ Book “Sharing The Wisdom of Time”

Pope Francis is sharing his time

Netflix has commissioned a four-part documentary series based on Sharing The Wisdom of Time, the book written by the 84-year-old head of the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis

The show comes from Simona Ercolani and production company Stand By Me, partner of Asacha Media Group. It will be released in 2021.

The series will see woman and men aged over 70 from around the world share their stories with young filmmakers under the age of 30 who are from the same country. The elders represent various ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds and religions. It will also feature an exclusive interview with Pope Francis who will offer a unique point of view.

The book was edited Father Antonio Spadaro and first published by Loyola Press in the United States.

Pope Francis Condemns the Death of George Floyd

Pope Francis is speaking out against racism…

During a speech from the Vatican on Wednesday, the 83-year-old Argentine pontiff and leader of the Catholic Church, whose full name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, condemned the death of George Floyd

Pope Francis

He directly addressed “brothers and sisters in the United States,” saying he has “witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days,” following the officer-involved death of Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minnesota.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” he said. “At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating.”

Floyd died in policy custody last week after a white officer knelt on his neck, sparking protests across the United States – most of them peaceful. Some demonstrations have turned violent and looting has been seen in cities nationwide. 

The Pope said nothing is gained by violence and much is lost. 

He also lead a prayer for Floyd “and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

“Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn. May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world. May God bless all of you and your families,” he prayed.

Lionel Messi Makes YouGov’s List of the World’s Most Admired Men

The world looks up to Lionel Messi

YouGov has released its annual study detailing which public figures the public looks up to, and the 32-year-old Argentine professional footballer has made the list.

Lionel Messi

Messi, a five-time Ballon d’Or awards winner who is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, comes in at No. 9 on YouGov’s World’s Most Admiredlist of men.

But Messi isn’t the only Latino to make the cut…

Pope Francis comes in at No. 15 on YouGov’s global list of the World’s Most Admired men.

But that’s not all. The 82-year-old Argentine pontiff, the head of the Catholic Churchand sovereign of the Vatican CityState, also appears on the list of America’s Most Admiredlist of men, coming in at No. 9.

He’s actually the only Latino in the Top 10 on the list America’s Most Admired men orwomen.

This year the study expanded to cover the views of people in 41 countries – the most ever – with more than 42,000 people being interviewed to compile the list.

YouGov's World's Most Admired
YouGov's America's Most Admired

Pope Francis to Make Cameo Appearance in Faith-Based Film “Beyond the Sun”

Pope Francis is ready for his close-up…

The 79-year-old Argentine pontiff, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is set to appear in the family adventure film Beyond The Sun from AMBI Pictures.

Pope Francis

It’s the first time in cinematic history that the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church will play himself in a big screen feature.

The casting came about after the pope asked the filmmakers to make a movie for children that communicates the message of Jesus.

All profits from the faith-based film will be donated to two charities, El Almendro and Los Hogares de Cristo, which help aid at-risk children and young adults in need, and are located in the Pope Francis’ home country.

The inspirational story of Beyond The Sun is based on the Gospels and told in several tales. It will focus on children from different cultures who emulate the apostles while searching for Jesus in the world around them. The filmmakers say it is intended to “spiritually engage and encourage audiences of all ages to transmit Jesus’ words, to understand them and integrate them to live a better life, make good choices and help others.”

Graciela Rodriguez wrote the screenplay. The producers are currently out to directors.

“Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis participating in this film is beyond words. This is not just a movie for us, it’s a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the Pope… This movie will provide funds to support extremely worthwhile causes that we take very seriously. This message and cause are very dear to the entire AMBI family and we are honored and inspired by the level of collaboration from the Vatican,” says AMBI Group co-founders Andrea Iervolino.

Principal photography is slated to begin in early 2016 in Italy.

Pope Francis Attracts Record-Breaking Crowd in the Philippines

There’s no denying Pope Francis’ influence in the Philippines…

The 76-year-old Argentine pontiff attracted an estimated 6 million people, who braved steady rain on Sunday to catch a glimpse of the leader of the Catholic Church at Manila’s Rizal Park, on his final full day in the island nation.

Pope Francis in Manila

The turnout breaks the record set by the last pontiff to say mass in the same venue – Pope John Paul II in 1995, when five people million attended, according to the Vatican.

Pope Francis dedicated his final homily of his tour to the young and urged protection for children so they aren’t tempted by sin or the devil or distracted by “promises of ephemeral pleasures, superficial pastimes.”

“We need to care for our young people, not allowing them to be robbed of hope and condemned to a life on the streets,” he said.

The Mass took place on the third and final day of the pope’s visit to the Philippines, whose roughly 80 million Catholics comprise about 7% of the world’s total.

The pontiff arrived Sunday on a popemobile based on the design of a jeepney, the modified U.S. Army World War II jeep that is a common means of public transport in the Philippines, wearing the same plastic yellow rain poncho handed out to the masses during his visit to the central Philippine city of Tacloban a day earlier.

The pontiff was forced to cut his trip short to Tacloban — hard-hit by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 — ahead of the approaching Tropical Storm Mekkhala. About 150,000 people, including survivors of the typhoon and of the earthquake on the island of Bohol that killed more than 200 people in October 2013, braved the approaching storm to attend Mass with the pope.

The pope’s tour, which also took him to Sri Lanka, was his second trip to Asia in five months, in a nod to the region’s growing importance for the Catholic Church as it faces declining support in Europe and the United States.

It was also the fourth papal visit to the Philippines, and the rapturous reception given to him throughout his stay cemented the nation’s status as the Church’s Asian role model.

Pope Frances Headed to Philadelphia in September 2015

Pope Francis is headed across the pond…

The 77-year-old Argentine pontiff will trek to the United States next year.

Pope Francis

Pope Frances has announced that he’ll be visiting Philadelphia in late September, according to ABC News.

“I wish to confirm according to the wishes of the Lord, that in September of 2015, I will go to Philadelphia for the World Meeting of Families,” Pope Francis said to a crowd at the Vatican. “Thank you for your prayers with which you accompany my service to the Church. Bless you from my heart.”

The World Meeting of Families is organized by the Catholic Church and focuses on strengthening family bonds.

“I am overjoyed by Pope Francis’ announcement that he will join with us for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia next year,” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a statement, according to ABC News.

“A hallmark of his papacy has been a keen focus on the many challenges that families face today globally. His charisma, presence and voice will electrify the gathering.”

Fergie & Josh Duhamel Baptize Their Son Axl Jack

Fergie’s little man is officially a member of the Catholic Church

The 38-year-old part-Mexican American singer and Josh Duhamel baptized their son, Axl Jack, on Thursday December 12.

Fergie & Axl Jack

The couple, who welcomed their first child in August, gathered with a small group of family at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church in Brentwood, California for an intimate ceremony and celebration.

“Baby Axl wore all white and seemed very calm about being baptized,” an eyewitness told People magazine, “He didn’t cry at all.”

Fergie has been open about her Catholic faith in the past, admitting that she and Duhamel were married in the church and continue to attend mass weekly.

And the new parents plan to bring up Axl Jack in the faith, as well.

“They seemed happy when they left the church,” an eyewitness said, “Axl had fallen asleep in his dad’s arms and he looked adorable.”

Pope Francis Named to Barbara Walters’ Most Fascinating People of the Year List

Since being proclaimed the new leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has captivated the world with his charm and humility… And, now the first Pope of the Americas has been named one of this year’s most fascinating people.

The 76-year-old Argentinean church leader, whose birth name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, has been named to Barbara Walters list of the Most Fascinating People of the Year, the broadcast journalist’s annual batch of the people who’ve enthralled the masses during the past year.

Pope Francis

In March, Pope Francis was chosen to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics as the first pontiff from Latin America.

Bergoglio, the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years, is the first pontiff to pick the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, revered among Catholics for his work with the poor.

One month later, Time magazine named him to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Walters’ other picks include Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence, the cast of A&E‘s Duck Dynasty, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and Duchess Kate and Prince William’s baby George.

Barbara Walters Presents: The 10 Most Fascinating People of the Year will air on December 18 at 9:30 pm ET on ABC.

Walters will unveil her pick for most fascinating person during the 90-minute special.

Bergoglio Becomes the Catholic Church’s First Latin American Pope

It’s official… The Catholic Church has its first pontiff from the Americas… And his name is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

The 76-year-old Argentinean church leader, who served as the archbishop of Buenos Aires, appeared on the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica shortly after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel, signaling that 115 cardinal electors had chosen him to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics as the first pontiff from Latin America.

Pope Francis I

Bergoglio, the first non-European pope in nearly 1,300 years, is the first pontiff to pick the name Francis, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, revered among Catholics for his work with the poor. St. Francis is considered a reformer of the church, who answered God’s call to “repair my church in ruins.”

During his first public address to 150,000 people packed in St. Peter’s Square, the new pope broke with tradition, asking the crowd to pray for him before blessing the crowd.

“Let us say this prayer, your prayer for me, in silence,” he told the enthusiastic crowd below.

Pope Francis, wearing white papal robes, appeared the crowd shortly after being elected by cardinals in what apparently was the fifth round of voting on the second day of the conclave.

“It seems to me that my brother cardinals have chosen one who is from faraway. But here I am. I would like to thank you for your embrace,” he said.

He’s the first South American pope, representing the largest Catholic population in the world. Latin America is home to 480 million Catholics. By choosing Bergoglio, the cardinals sent a strong message about where the future of the church may lie.

“As the first pope from the Americas, his selection also speaks to the strength and vitality of a region that is increasingly shaping our world, and alongside millions of Hispanic Americans, those of us in the United States share the joy of this historic day,” said President Barack Obama of Bregoglio’s election.

The new pontiff – he 266th pontiff in the Church’s 2,000-year history –will deliver the traditional Angelus blessing from the Vatican on Sunday, according to the Vatican.

Francis will be formally installed as pope at a Mass on Tuesday.